Our asbestos attorneys have extensive experience helping individuals and families throughout the state of Arizona seek and recover financial compensation for claims involving mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers. We work with the top attorneys in the nation to ensure our clients get the full amount of compensation owed to them by law.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, contact us for help. We will help you connect with a top legal professional and will also help you connect with the top mesothelioma specialists in the area to ensure you get the highest quality care.
History of Asbestos in Arizona: Asbestos Mines
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was first discovered in Arizona in 1872 in the town Chrysotile. Properties such as high tensile strength and resistance to heat and fire made asbestos immediately attractive to several industries.
Once asbestos was discovered in hundreds of sites across the state, the mining industry and production companies rapidly took over. Indian reservations across the state banked on the naturally occurring asbestos and quickly began distributing it to local and national businesses.
It wasn’t until the early 1980s that most of the mining districts in Arizona were shut down due to the dangers of asbestos exposure. So, from the time asbestos was first discovered to the time the mines were shut down, hundreds of Arizona workers and residents were exposed to the dangerous mineral.
Occupational Exposure in Arizona
Of course miners who removed raw asbestos from the ground were at the highest risk for inhaling dangerous fibers, but the mines scattered across the state weren’t the only source of asbestos exposure. In fact, industry workers were exposed to the dangers of asbestos almost daily, particularly those who worked for:
- Steel mills
- Copper mills
- Power plants
- Construction sites
WR Grace and Company, which is infamous for mining asbestos in Libby, MT for decades, also ran a vermiculite packing facility in Phoenix known as Solomon’s Mines, Inc. The vermiculite is actually harmless but it was contaminated with amphilbole asbestos from Libby MT. So, any mine workers and families who lived and worked there from the 1960s until 1992 are at risk. Employees of these facilities should have regular checkups to see if they have any signs of asbestos-related diseases.
Also, Glendale AZ was the home of a huge vermiculite processing plant called Ari-Zonolite. It received 210,000 tons of vermiculite ore from the Libby MT mines.
In 2011, the EPA found that three of seven soil samples at the Ari-Zonolite site contained asbestos. Residual asbestos fibers also were in air samples inside the facilities. It is likely that workers at this plant over the years were exposed to toxic asbestos dust every day. Also, about 6000 residents live within a one mile radius of the plant.
Mining in Arizona
Mine workers in Arizona were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos in mines and in facilities around those mines. Except for a stoppage during the Great Depression, chrysotile asbestos has been mined nonstop in this state since 1872; that is when the vast natural deposits of the mineral were discovered. All mining stopped by 1982 but from 1913-66, miners pulled out 75,000 tons of asbestos from 200 mines.
Some of the mines that dealt heavily with asbestos are:
- Apache Mine
- Pine Top Mine
- Salt River Mine
- Abril Mine
- Cemetery Ridge
- Bass Mine
- Dome Rock Mountains Mine
- Kyle Asbestos Mines
- Putman Wash
- Roadside Mines
- Stansbury Asbestos Prospect
- Phillips Asbestos Mines
Asbestos-Related Jobsites in Arizona
Companies that produced or used asbestos in Arizona include:
- American Asbestos Cement Corp.
- Arther Enders Co.
- Chemical Sales Corp
- Metate Asbestos Corp.
- Sorsen Asbestos Corp.
- Western Chemical Co.
- OW Gurthrie Corp
Mesothelioma Statistics in Arizona
Over 500 people died from asbestos cancer in AZ from 1979 until 1999. The highest number of deaths were in Maricopa County.
Asbestos Laws in Arizona
Laws in this state require that any diagnosis of asbestosis or mesothelioma must be made locally and then it can proceed to the state level. State enforcement laws mandate that companies have to provide all employees with a hazard free work environment and occupation.
There have been several lawsuits in this state related to asbestos exposure. In 2008, Winslow AZ had to pay $240,000 in fines for violating several provisions of the Clean Air Act. The city tore down a complex called the Apache Apartments and did not do asbestos inspections. The city administrator ordered the destruction of the buildings but did not follow state law on asbestos abatement.